L. Andrew Cooper

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L. Andrew Cooper specializes in the provocative, scary, and strange. His latest novel, Crazy Time, combines literary horror and dark fantasy in a contemporary quest to undo what may be a divine curse. Other published works include novels Burning the Middle Ground and Descending Lines; short story collections Leaping at Thorns and Peritoneum; poetry collection The Great Sonnet Plot of Anton Tick; non-fiction Gothic Realities and Dario Argento; co-edited fiction anthologies Imagination Reimagined and Reel Dark; and the co-edited textbook Monsters. He has also written more than 30 award-winning screenplays. After studying literature and film at Harvard and Princeton, he used his Ph.D. to teach about favorite topics from coast to coast in the United States. He now focuses solely on writing and lives in North Hollywood, California. Find him at



BY L. Andrew Cooper • POSTED ON Jan. 7, 2022

A novel presents a woman’s strange and surreal journey.

Cooper’s story starts with a tragedy. While driving one night, Lily Henshaw and her three best friends are accosted by two men in a truck. “It’s crazy time!” one of them says. Lily’s pals end up dead, but she somehow survives. Months later, she deals with physical and psychological scars—her trauma is palpable, and her survivor’s guilt is debilitating. But Lily carries on until people around her die (her brother, David, who chooses suicide), get diagnosed as terminally ill (her mom), or are attacked (her boss, Burt, whose business is destroyed in a break-in). Lily’s house is invaded by locusts, which she may or may not be hallucinating. They appear just before she is sexually assaulted. Then her next-door neighbor commits a violent crime. The locusts could be a portent, but of what, Lily wonders: Is she cursed? Is this the apocalypse? To get answers, Lily, with Burt by her side, consults a psychic and Satan worshipers until she finally meets with the higher-ups of a corporation that does work for God himself. Cooper’s dark horror story is an uncomfortable, trippy, and original roller-coaster ride with a side of romance. Readers will find the tale vastly disorienting at first. But once Lily’s investigation starts, they will decide to shadow her, wanting to find answers alongside the protagonist. Remarkably for a novel that poses big questions about God, the devil, and the meaning of life, the story manages to bypass the dangers of religious pontification. Instead, the tale concentrates on Lily’s bravery as she makes her way through the madness around her. Unfortunately, there is an important part of the work that looks at death by suicide and suicide clusters with less consideration than the topic deserves. Still, despite the big chunks of expository monologues in some places, the narrative flows smoothly to its gripping finale.

A riveting and unsettling horror story with a compelling hero.

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-977250-43-8

Page count: 346pp

Publisher: Outskirts Press

Review Posted Online: March 7, 2022



BY L. Andrew Cooper • POSTED ON Oct. 11, 2013

A Grand Guignol cat-and-mouse tale about a monstrous husband pursuing his fleeing wife.

Megan and Carter face a terrible problem: Their 6-year-old child, Caitlin, is dying of cancer and doesn’t have much time left. But Carter has a plan to use the black magic that he and a dimwitted dormitory buddy learned back in college in order to cast a spell on the sick little girl. Carter is sure that the ritual will save Caitlin’s life; never mind that the last time he dabbled in the dark arts, his classmate died, or that the grisly ritual requires Carter and Megan to sacrifice their future baby. The ensuing narrative confidently seesaws back and forth between the couple’s disintegrating relationship and Carter’s halcyon days studying a creepy tome called The Alchemy of the Will by a forgotten academic named Dr. Allen Fincher. Cooper, a horror aficionado and film-studies teacher, largely eschews the highly charged politics inherent in his self-described “nasty little story”—despite the obvious parallels to the debates regarding abortion, stem cell research and cloning—in favor of tracking Megan’s escalating anguish and Carter’s growing fiendishness: “Carter’s fingers passed before his eyes, showing him the bits of skin that clung to their sharp tips—remnants of the man’s face.” As readers will likely expect, Megan eventually screws up enough courage to hit the road, a curiously whiny Caitlin in tow. From there, however, the heretofore steady narrative becomes a thoroughly protracted affair in which the tension grows tedious, even as the body count soars. Ultimately, the most unsettling thing about the gory goings-on may be that they could serve as a tasty prologue to a more interesting tale—about a little lost girl who grows up with a bloodthirsty monster.

An undeniably horrific thriller.

Pub Date: Oct. 11, 2013

ISBN: 978-1613181508

Page count: 222pp

Publisher: BlackWyrm

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2014


Burning the Middle Ground

_Burning the Middle Ground_ is a dark fantasy about small-town America that transforms readers' fears about the country's direction into a haunting tale of religious conspiracy and supernatural mind control. A character-driven sensibility like Stephen King's and a flair for the bizarre like Bentley Little's delivers as much appeal for dedicated fans of fantasy and horror as for mainstream readers looking for an exciting ride. Brian McCullough comes home from school and discovers that his ten-year-old sister Fran has murdered their parents. Five years later, a journalist, Ronald Glassner, finds Brian living at the same house in the small town of Kenning, Georgia. Planning a book on the McCullough Tragedy, Ronald stumbles into a struggle between Kenning's First Church, run by the mysterious Reverend Michael Cox, and the New Church, run by the rebellious Jeanne Harper. At the same time, Kenning's pets go berserk, and dead bodies, with the eyes and tongues removed from their heads, begin to appear.
Published: Nov. 28, 2012
ISBN: 978-1613181386

Dario Argento

Commanding a cult following among horror fans, Italian film director Dario Argento is best known for his work in two closely related genres, the crime thriller and supernatural horror. In his four decades of filmmaking, Argento has displayed a commitment to innovation, from his directorial debut with 1970's suspense thriller _The Bird with the Crystal Plumage_ to 2009's _Giallo_. His films, like the lurid yellow-covered murder-mystery novels they are inspired by, follow the suspense tradition of hard-boiled American detective fiction while incorporating baroque scenes of violence and excess. L. Andrew Cooper uses controversies and theories about the films' reflections on sadism, gender, sexuality, psychoanalysis, aestheticism, and genre to declare the anti-rational logic of Argento's oeuvre. Approaching the films as rhetorical statements made through extremes of sound and vision, Cooper places Argento in a tradition of aestheticized horror that includes De Sade, De Quincey, Poe, and Hitchcock. He reveals how the director's stylistic excesses, often condemned for glorifying misogyny and other forms of violence, offer productive resistance to the cinema's visual, narrative, and political norms.
Published: Oct. 10, 2012
ISBN: 978-0252078743

Gothic Realities

Eighteenth-century critics believed Gothic fiction would inspire deviant sexuality, instill heretical beliefs, and encourage antisocial violence--this book puts these beliefs to the test. After examining the assumptions behind critics' fears, it considers nineteenth-century concerns about sexual deviance, showing how _Frankenstein_, _Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde_, _Dorian Gray_, and other works helped construct homosexuality as a pathological, dangerous phenomenon. It then turns to television and film, particularly _Buffy the Vampire Slayer_ and David DeCoteau's direct-to-video movies, to trace Gothicized sexuality's lasting impact. Moving to heretical beliefs, _Gothic Realities_ surveys ghost stories from Dickens's _A Christmas Carol_ to _Poltergeist_, articulating the relationships between fiction and the "real" supernatural. Finally, it considers connections between Gothic horror and real-world violence, especially the tragedies at Columbine and Virginia Tech.
Published: July 1, 2010
ISBN: 978-0786448357

Imagination Reimagined: Not Your Children's Fairy Tales (Co-Editor and Contributor)

Reimagine the fairy tales of your youth through nine of the most creative authors writing today! See Rose Red and Snow White through the eyes of Jason S. Walters in an intriguing new telling of the age old tale. Feel the bone-chilling "Kindertotenlieder" by horror writer L. Andrew Cooper. Have you wondered what happens "After Ever?" Experience a vision from the brilliant writing of William I. Levy. Come back to reality for a moment in a crime thriller by Christopher Kokoski that will leave you in awe, scratching the "Hair of Your Chinny-Chin-Chin." The Ugly Duckling will never look quite the same after reading "Free to Be Donnie Kinnaird" by the astonishing Michael Williams. The Big Bad Wolf comes alive in the Brad Parnell's "The Girl in the Red Hood." Go on the adventure of Hans and Grace through the unique styling of Georgia L. Jones. Wish yourself into another dimension with "Genie in the Bottle" by Bryan and Wendy Schardein. These boots are made for walking into an unusual realm in the graceful musings of "Puss in Boots" by G. L. Giles. Whether your favorite is a fairy tale by Robert Browning, the Grimm Brothers, Giovanni Francesco Straparola, or Hans Christian Andersen, you are sure to have your imagination run wild with each story in _Imagination Reimagined_.
Published: April 5, 2014
ISBN: 978-1613181638

Leaping at Thorns

LEAPING AT THORNS arranges 15 of L. Andrew Cooper's unpublished, experimental short horror stories into a "triptych" of themes--complicity, entrapment, and conspiracy--elements that run throughout the collection. The stories span from the emotionally-centered and violence-mild "Last Move," about a mother and son whose cross-country move might be complicated by a haunted U-Move truck, to the almost unthinkably horrific "Charlie Mirren and His Mother," also about a mother and son, but their lives take a turn that might be traumatic for readers as well. While "Worm Would" offers a psychosexual fantasia on the sheer grossness that is a flatworm, "Tapestry" uses absurd, sometimes comic violence to take Jessica, the young professional protagonist, into a political nightmare. The absurd reaches dark extremes in "Lachrymosa," a story of almost pure hallucination, and stretches back toward the comic in the brain-and-tongue-twister "Heart on a Stick." The "conspiracy" panel of the triptych, from "The Fate of Doctor Fincher" to "The Special One," is a series of standalone stories that each adds important details to the fictional world and grand scheme of Dr. Allen Fincher, who also lurks in the background of Cooper's novels BURNING THE MIDDLE GROUND and DESCENDING LINES.
Published: Sept. 16, 2014
ISBN: 1613181663

Monsters (co-editor and contributor)

It's under the bed; it's in the closet. It's the thing in the basement, but it's also the thing in the mirror, hot breath on the back of your neck, cold eyes staring at you with loathing and hunger. The monster sometimes inspires heroes: a community's bravest members rise up and defend people's livelihoods against an indescribable threat. But in the dead of night, when no one can hear, even a hero might admit that a monster inspires one thing more than any other: fear.
Published: Aug. 1, 2012
ISBN: 978-1598714838

The Great Sonnet Plot of Anton Tick

THE GREAT SONNET PLOT OF ANTON TICK presents one hundred sonnets in varying styles in which the speaker sits stranded on his sofa, a victim of both television doldrums and Irv, an alien anxiety-monster. Cara Carani, a flying superhero, would help him and others fight their Irvs, but Anton Tick, a scheming villain, captures the speaker and perpetrates a series of Irv-ous horrors that would spread throughout American culture. Combining introspection with narrative, the sonnets reflect on contemporary and classical media as Cara and Anton do battle for both the speaker’s future and the future of the world, futures in jeopardy while Anton’s Plot brings millions under his power.
Published: Dec. 5, 2018
ISBN: 978-1625492982
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